Leading UK Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert shares her concerns about a ‘one size fits all approach’ to nutrition and the need for closer relationships between GPs, Nutritionists and Dietitians
Rhiannon Lambert, leading UK nutritionist and author of Re-Nourish - A Simple Way To Eat, shared her concerns about the safety of popular online nutritional advice and the need for closer collaboration between medical professionals, in an IGTV on her Instagram account.
Taking the opportunity to remind viewers to question the sources and experience of popular nutrition advice available online, Rhiannon also urged them to consider their specific and personal circumstances before pursuing a popular diet that may not support their health and lifestyle needs.
Referring to a Sainsbury’s report which highlighted that 21% of young people refer to unqualified YouTube stars for information on healthy eating, Rhiannon wrote, “We need to collectively fight the fads. It’s never been more important to approach the right health professionals and for us all to collaborate on the best interest of the public.”
Rhiannon further emphasised that a ‘one size fits all’ approach can be problematic, as can taking advice from influencers, as well as doctors in the public sphere who have limited training or understanding of nutrition.
Closer Working Relationships Between Medical Professionals
Focusing on the subject of health professionals, Rhiannon called for closer working between registered and experienced Nutritionists, Dietitians and GPs. She highlighted that doctors are currently taught as little as six hours on nutrition at medical school - and that any additional training is undertaken on a personal basis, and at a personal cost to the GP.
Stating that up to 80% of patients have conditions linked to lifestyle and diet, Rhiannon shared her hopes that medicine would soon realise that nutrition is the key to good health, writing: “Doctors aren’t trained to be Nutritionists or Dietitians - these are two whole professions with expertise, experiences and evidence-based understanding to share nutritional interventions.”
“Doctors should collaborate with qualified Nutritionists and Dietitians to ensure their advice is evidence-based and they can identify people who can benefit from improved nutrition.”
During the IGTV, Rhiannon shared that the subject of nutrition is complex for many reasons and suggested that there should be much more training for doctors in order to support patients presenting with conditions relating to lifestyle and diet.
“Food is a very emotive, psychological subject - everyone has got their own beliefs around it, so I do believe that doctors should understand a lot more about nutrition and that education system should be put in place. The problem is, it’s not currently there.”
“Doctors should be referring a lot more than they are to registered Nutritionists and Dietitians. Working collaboratively is the best thing we can do for someone’s health.”
Her post was well received, with many people sharing their experiences and hopes for better nutritional support in the future. Rhiannon agreed that access to Nutritionists and Dietitians can be poor at present under the NHS and recognised that not everyone has the means to engage private nutrition support, going on to signpost free information and resources from qualified professionals.
Hear Rhiannon talk about the role of qualified Nutritionists on Happiful’s podcast I am. I have - How It helps
Free Nutritional Resources & Websites
- Food For Thought - Rhiannon’s own podcast covers a range of topics from breaking sugar addiction to women’s health taboos. Rhiannon’s site also has free information and resources.
- Food Facts - The UK Associations of Dietitians.
- The Nutrition Society
- Nutritionist Resource - A free-to-use directory of qualified Nutritionists and Dietitians, searchable by postcode.